Three minutes from now it will be tomorrow
Saturday, May 09, 2020
Today Saturday I am biting the bullet and I will be going to
Richmond to have Bensen at Powersonic Computers
remove my Windows 7 and install
Windows 10. Bensen is very careful and savvy and will probably keep everything
that I have in my computer now. The problem will be passwords I do not
remember. I can truthfully say that this century was ruined by Steve Jobs and
his iPhones and the invention and proliferation of passwords and pin numbers.
I am biting the bullet because my computer runs smoothly and
I have everything I need in it including a readily available feature to be able
to do this:
¡¡¿¿Qué carajo que tengo que cambiar esta linda
rutina y me voy a sentir otra vez un pingüino en el ártico!!
Bensen will be able to carry over my useful 15 year-old
Photoshop. But I doubt he will be able to help me transfer my Blogger blog
dashboard (from where I write my daily blog) into my difficult to use (for this
idiot) Microsoft Surface laptop. This means that until I get my computer back I
will not be writing my usual blogs. I don’t think anybody will care.
The problem is that with three people, at the most phoning
us every day, writing my blog was a high point in this everlasting quarantine isolation.
I no longer tell my Rosemary at 10:30 in the evening, “Five
minutes ago it was yesterday.” Now my new one is, “Three minutes from now it
will be tomorrow.”
The picture illustrating this blog is not really out of
context. All I remember of the girl is that her name was Aleysha Mishelle. I
photographed her in the early 80s for an article on the Planetarium’s laser
show guy, Craig McCaw. Here are the relevant blogs.
Craig McCaw & Maybellene
A Rendezvous with Craig McCaw
The purpose of this photo of the lovely girl with the big
hair is that in the 80s my photos of her were drastically underexposed. My 15
year-old Photoshop is not inventing detail that is not there. It is bringing
out detail that was always there. The obstruction to getting a good image was
the limitation of my nice basement darkroom and the process used at the time
which was limited.
Rosa 'Shropshire Lad' - An Idea of Imperfection
Friday, May 08, 2020
|Rosa 'Shropshire Lad' - 8 May 2020|
In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, men chained to a stone bench
in a cave face a flat rock wall. Behind them is a fire and behind the fire a
long tunnel that leads to the outer world.
For Plato that particular outer world is the world of ideas,
the world of essences, the world of perfection. The men in the cave only see
imperfect shadows filtered by the fire.
We humans like to strive for this perfection in a world that
is far from it. Yet in our imagination, those of us who have seen Velászquez’s
Las Meninas (I have) think that painting is perfection.
When a rosarian (one who enthusiastically grows roses)
exhibits in rose shows the most important requirement is to get a bloom that is
as close to that particular rose society’s benchmark of perfection. This is
I have never entered any of my roses in rose shows. I don’t
like to see my roses away from the garden, away from their parent bush to be
seen surrounded by other roses in rose vases.
This particular bloom, the first one of English Rose, Rosa ‘Shropshire Lad’ is far from the
standard of what a rose should look like. For reasons that we humans could not
possibly figure out (in the same way we would not know why a baby might be born
with an extra finger in a hand) this rose has a flower that is distorted to one
side. I like it.
As I scanned it I thought of those men chained to their
bench. If I were one of them would I suspect that outside in the world of
reality there would be a perfect, imperfect rose?
Toco tu Boca
Thursday, May 07, 2020
boca - Julio Cortázar
boca, con un dedo toco el borde de tu boca, voy dibujándola como si saliera de
mi mano, como si por primera vez tu boca se entreabriera, y me basta cerrar los
ojos para deshacerlo todo y recomenzar, hago nacer cada vez la boca que deseo,
la boca que mi mano elige y te dibuja en la cara, una boca elegida entre todas,
con soberana libertad elegida por mí para dibujarla con mi mano en tu cara, y
que por un azar que no busco comprender coincide exactamente con tu boca que
sonríe por debajo de la que mi mano te dibuja.
miras, de cerca me miras, cada vez más de cerca y entonces jugamos al cíclope,
nos miramos cada vez más de cerca y nuestros ojos se agrandan, se acercan entre
sí, se superponen y los cíclopes se miran, respirando confundidos, las bocas se
encuentran y luchan tibiamente, mordiéndose con los labios, apoyando apenas la
lengua en los dientes, jugando en sus recintos donde un aire pesado va y viene
con un perfume viejo y un silencio. Entonces mis manos buscan hundirse en tu
pelo, acariciar lentamente la profundidad de tu pelo mientras nos besamos como
si tuviéramos la boca llena de flores o de peces, de movimientos vivos, de
fragancia oscura. Y si nos mordemos el dolor es dulce, y si nos ahogamos en un
breve y terrible absorber simultáneo del aliento, esa instantánea muerte es
bella. Y hay una sola saliva y un solo sabor a fruta madura, y yo te siento
temblar contra mí como una luna en el agua.
Pero el amor esa palabra
A un dios desconocido
Del colorado al amarillo
Reunión con un círculo rojo
La protección inútil
el tubo de dentífrico
Tu corazón desconcertado
Blue Dollars, Cave Dwellers & Little Trees
Wednesday, May 06, 2020
blue hoy se vendía hasta 142 pesos en las cuevas del Conurbano bonaerense,
donde los arbolitos y cueveros se hacían el día ante la sostenida demanda del
billete en el mercado ilegal.
This I read in a publication. Let me first loosely
translate it as if I were Google:
The blue dollar today was being sold for 142 pesos in
caves of the urban core, where little trees and cave dwellers were having their
day with the sustained demand for paper
cash in the illegal market.
A better translation would be:
The black market dollar was being sold for 142 pesos in
the Buenos Aires city centre by the motionless men at city corners (thus little
trees) who dealt from offices called caves. They were having a heyday because of
the high demand for US Dollars.
Since I can remember, (1965) while as a conscript of the
Argentine Navy I would every once in while change some of my saved US dollars
with arbolitos who would stand at corners of Calle Corrientes. Most now (and a
recent development of arbolitas of the female kind) are on the busy pedestrian
mall of Calle Florida. When we were last in Buenos Aires in September 2019 we
would change our $50 US Dollars for pesos (nowbody would arrest you and you are
never cheated) for 65 pesos. Note that these blue dollars are now at 142.
Some say that when Diego Maradona was asked about the
black market dollar that he answered that he did not care if they were black,
green or blue.
It was in 1966 when I passed by a beautiful shoe store
called López Taibo on Calle Corrientes. I spotted a beautiful pair of brown leather boots. I
entered the store in my sailor uniform (as sailors we were paid the equivalent
of one US Dollar a month since the pay standard had not been changed since 1902
or thereabouts.). I asked a very serious man to show me the pair. He instantly
said, “Are you sure you are in the right
store?,” and he stared at my uniform. From a pocket I removed a 100 US Dollar
bill. I left with the boots and lots of change.
Sometime in the late 80s or perhaps in another trip in
the 90s I went back to Argentina. Lopez Taibo was still on Calle Corrientes but
in a much smaller space. My previously purchased boots no longer fit me. I
wanted a new pair. I went in the story and the same man was still there. He
asked for my name and came back with my foot measurements. I left the store
with a new pair of boots that were still a bargain.
Vienna, Medias Lunas, a Violin & a Chickering Baby Grand
Tuesday, May 05, 2020
|Ilse Taylor Hable|
A croissant (UK: /ˈkrwʌsɒŋ/; US: /krwɑːˈsɒ̃/, /krəˈsɒnt/;
French pronunciation: [kʁwa.sɑ̃] (About this soundlisten))
is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie pastry of Austrian origin, named for its
historical crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of a
layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and
folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique
called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to
a puff pastry.
Or in a nutshell: The croissant was invented in Vienna
after the victory of the Holy League against the Turks in 1683.
In my humble opinion as an Argentine I believe that the
best croissants are to be had in Buenos Aires. Here is a photo of my friend
Roberto Baschetti about to enjoy this Argentine version called a “medialuna”.
What is especially good is that they are slightly sweet. I believe they are
coated with egg white and sugar before baking. There are two kind of medialunas, those made with butter and those with lard. The latter are crunchy and
delicious if dipped into a café con leche. In the photograph below the mediaslunas de grasa or lard are the pair closest to Baschetti.
For me the first occurrence of the place Vienna happened
in my Buenos Aires boyhood when my mother went to the corner grocery store to
buy Salchichas Viena, or Vienna sausages in a tin.
My knowledge of the place and of its people faded but was
reborn around 1959 when I would go to a coffee shop on Florencia and Paseo de
la Reforma in Mexico City and to sit down and order a café vienés. This was
strong coffee with a large dollop of whipped cream.
Austria and its capital Vienna has been mostly off the
charts for me since except perhaps learning about the Austrian/Hungarian Empire
in Brother Hubert’s world history class at St. Edward’s High School in Austin.
But Austria and Vienna were suddenly in my awareness when
my friend and compadre Andrew Taylor (he is the godfather of my oldest daughter
Alexandra) married a tall Austrian woman, Ilse Hable in the early 70s.
Since then we have seen both of them in our visits to
Mexico and we will soon visit them in Guadalajara where they live when the
pandemic is over. Hable is an artist and she painted my likeness recently. I
asked her if she had ever painted a selfie. She did and promises to paint
another with a wider background to show her Mexican roots.
There is another connection that we have with Vienna. We
have a fully restored, 100 year-old Chickering baby grand piano. I have been
told that there is a Chickering in Vienna at the Franz Liszt Museum.
|Olena & the Chickering|
And then there is this wonderful citation of Vienna in a
solo violin version by Cameron Wilson to a Billy Joel composition called